Musings on life, the universe and an elephant named Flobo

Straphanger Chronicle

It has been quite an interesting week for public transport. The rainy weather has largely given way to warm spring days and the heat is starting to impact people’s minds.

It is said that chivalry is dead, however, after the display I witnessed two mornings ago, I would say it was murdered. A man stood up and indicated for a woman to take his seat. The train was relatively full and it was nice to see a display of manners. The woman in question was an ordinary looking creature of middle age. She did not seem to be sporting a broken hip, pregnancy or a lot of bags to hold. The man was just being nice and offering his seat. I did not expect for the woman to start verbally abusing the man for his manners.

Earlier this week, I witnessed a drug deal taking place from my vantage point directly behind the “discreet” male and female who were exchanging those cheap jewellery boxes. The woman, would have been mid 20s was handing over sample boxes and the guys eyes would light up when he peeked inside before he would close the box, cough and try to contain his excitement as he suavely handed over some notes. They may have been speaking relatively softly for my deaf ears to pick up on everything they were saying however I know he was placing his next order based on the responses she gave in her chirpy voice.

On the same train, a woman chewed intently on her hair as she spoke into her phone. I do not know if she was hungry or whether it was a nervous tick however when it became evident that she wasn’t about to stop any time soon, I began to worry about her developing a fur ball. I could just picture her bent over on the carriage floor, hacking and coughing until the spittle covered hair landed on the floor in front of her and she preened, expecting a pat.

This evening’s train trip was rather eventful purely for the discomfort. Queensland Rail decided to cancel the earlier train to Manly, so two train loads of passengers boarded the 5.17 Cleveland bound train. I do not know why in large groups of people an organiser must be found however, this evening, that role was filled by middle-aged woman who loudly asked for people to move down the carriage so that those at the doors could be more comfortable. I may have made a sarcastic response about “moving where?”. Yes, I broke the cardinal rule. People watchers should be see and not be seen, hear yet not be heard. A few minutes later, the “Organiser” sexually assaulted a man who was trying his absolute hardest not to pay attention to her by jutting her pelvis directly at his backside, trying to encourage him to move a further inch. The guy kept his cool (somehow – I would have been asking for a drink first) and heavens be praised, a further inch of room was available on the train.

When ever a storm is forecast to hit, you can be certain that people will attempt to flee the city as early as possible on a work day. We have all experienced times when public transport systems have crashed and we have been forced to find alternate means of transport or rely on cabs or friends and families to get us home. Storm clouds began to roll in as parts of QLD started to cop a hammering. The promise of rain clung to the air and the carriage windows became foggy from the built up body heat of the sardine can within.

After all of the jostling for personal space, I became absolutely mesmerised by the nostrils of a woman standing not far from where I was seated. I tried to slyly look in her direction, without making it obvious that I was staring – I may or may not have been successful in this endeavour. She had a relatively average nose on an average sized head draped in blonde hair. And the largest nostrils I have EVER seen. They were magnificent. I was so tempted to enquire about the olfactory capabilities of those beauties. When someone has massive ears, you tend to assume that they pretty much have satellite dishes strapped to their head. Same can be said for nostrils. I checked out the size of her fingers, a scientific determination as to whether constant nose picking had caused the widening but no, she had slender little fingers that looked more at home on a Barbie doll.

To my dismay, the woman got off the train 6 stops before my station so I sat back and rested my eyes. I do not know what it is, however I can always tell when the train is nearing Hemmant Station and going past the creek,  as the carriage fills with the smell of dog kibble, sucked in and circulated around the carriage by the air conditioning. If I were blind, I would be able to figure out my position based on that smell. It is a scent often remarked upon yet no one seems to know the cause. A mystery that I am determined to one day solve.


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